Computational Intelligence for Decision Support in Cyber-Physical Systems

Volume 540 of the series Studies in Computational Intelligence pp 3-65


Configurable, Energy-Efficient, Application- and Channel-Aware Middleware Approaches for Cyber-Physical Systems

  • Khalid NawazAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, TU Darmstadt Email author 
  • , Ilia PetrovAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, TU Darmstadt
  • , Alejandro P. BuchmannAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, TU Darmstadt

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The use of Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks (WSAN) as an enabling technology for Cyber-Physical Systems has increased significantly in recent past. The challenges that arise in different application areas of Cyber-Physical Systems, in general, and in WSAN in particular, are getting the attention of academia and industry both. Since reliability issues for message delivery in wireless communication are of critical importance for certain safety related applications, it is one of the areas that has received significant focus in the research community. Additionally, the diverse needs of different applications put different demands on the lower layers in the protocol stack, thus necessitating such mechanisms in place in the lower layers which enable them to dynamically adapt. Another major issue in the realization of networked wirelessly communicating cyber-physical systems, in general, and WSAN, in particular, is the lack of approaches that tackle the reliability, configurability and application awareness issues together. One could consider tackling these issues in isolation. However, the interplay between these issues create such challenges that make the application developers spend more time on meeting these challenges, and that too not in very optimal ways, than spending their time on solving the problems related to the application being developed. Starting from some fundamental concepts, general issues and problems in cyber-physical systems, this chapter discusses such issues like energy-efficiency, application and channel-awareness for networked wirelessly communicating cyber-physical systems. Additionally, the chapter describes a middleware approach called CEACH, which is an acronym for Configurable, Energy-efficient, Application- and Channel-aware Clustering based middleware service for cyber-physical systems. The state-of-the art in the area of cyber-physical systems with a special focus on communication reliability, configurability, application- and channel-awareness is described in the chapter. The chapter also describes how these features have been considered in the CEACH approach. Important node level and network level characteristics and their significance vis-à-vis the design of applications for cyber physical systems is also discussed. The issue of adaptively controlling the impact of these factors vis-à-vis the application demands and network conditions is also discussed. The chapter also includes a description of Fuzzy-CEACH which is an extension of CEACH middleware service and which uses fuzzy logic principles. The fuzzy descriptors used in different stages of Fuzzy-CEACH have also been described. The fuzzy inference engine used in the Fuzzy-CEACH cluster head election process is described in detail. The Rule-Bases used by fuzzy inference engine in different stages of Fuzzy-CEACH is also included to show an insightful description of the protocol. The chapter also discusses in detail the experimental results validating the authenticity of the presented concepts in the CEACH approach. The applicability of the CEACH middleware service in different application scenarios in the domain of cyber-physical systems is also discussed. The chapter concludes by shedding light on the Publish-Subscribe mechanisms in distributed event-based systems and showing how they can make use of the CEACH middleware to reliably communicate detected events to the event-consumers or the actuators if the WSAN is modeled as a distributed event-based system.